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Sharing Neely's Story with Pediatric Residents at GHSArticle posted on Wednesday, November, 3rd, 2010 at 10:44 am
When Dr. William Schmidt offered me an opportunity to tell Neely’s Story to the Pediatric Residents of the Greenville Hospital System, I was taken completely by surprise. I couldn’t believe he was offering me such an amazing gift, and all the while, saying that it is GHS who should be grateful.
I couldn’t wait.
The first step was meeting with Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Kerry Sease. Dr. Sease is the Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Program at GHS, a Mom, and a phenomenal leader in community outreach and programs that advocate for children. Not necessarily in that order. (And by the way…The Pediatric Residency Program at GHS is the #1 Program in the country!) In my book…She is a Rock-star. And if you met her, you would probably feel the same way.
We scheduled the day of the class for Friday, October 29. And all that was left to do was tell the story. I spent a lot of time thinking about what our story might mean to a classroom full of Pediatric Residents. It was important to me that they take something meaningful away from the training. It wasn’t going to be enough just to tell our story. I wanted to make a connection with them.
I’m not sure which of us thought of the idea first (Dr. Schmidt or myself), but as we were talking, we agreed that asking Dr. Kevin Springle to play a role in the class, telling Neely’s story from his perspective, could make a powerful statement. It would also help to show the class how we (Kevin Springle and I) were working toward closing the loop on our relationship. I asked Dr. Springle over lunch later that week – and he agree.
The days leading up to the presentation were emotional. You would think that having told the story as many times as I have, that it would get easier. It really doesn’t though. And looking back over my Journal and videos during that time made me realize hard it was, how far we have come, and how fortunate we are that Neely healed and is doing so well. When Neely was sick, I would have given anything to bring her into a room full of Pediatricians to ask for help. So standing in that room telling her story was an ironic and very rewarding experience. I’ve given lots of presentation and I am no stranger to presenting to large groups (much larger than this class), but this one was different. This was the first time that I’ve even been personally attached to the presentation. It was difficult, and I was more nervous than I thought I would be.
And as hard as it was for me, I know it was difficult for Dr. Springle as well. But he did a great job. And I think that we did a really great thing together. And Neely was there too! I told her we were going to a Doctor Party. (I wasn’t sure how she might react to a room full of “white coats”) So she decided to wear her own doctor gear, complete with a white lab coat and stethoscope. She looked precious! (I guess I am a little biased about that though.)
I would love for you to take a look at the presentation. There isn’t any audio but you can click through the visual prompts. My charge to the Residents was pretty simple: Listen to Your Patients, Empower them to Participate in their Health care, and Make a Difference. I asked them to think about Neely every time they treat a sick child, and to remember me when they look into the eyes of a scared and determined parent. And I think they will.
Now there is only question….What’s Next?